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Stutzman: VA hospital report ‘troubling'

Statement issued Tuesday:

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) issued the following statement regarding a report released Monday by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (VAOIG).

"Yesterday's report gives the VA a clear path toward improving care at Fort Wayne's VA hospital. Across the nation, hospitals perform inspections like this regularly. Unlike other hospitals, however, the VA is under heightened scrutiny when these reports are made available to the public. That's a good thing. By outlining improvements and encouraging accountability, the report helps the VA meet the quality care our veterans have earned."

On May 19, 2010, an anonymous complaint prompted the investigation. On July 26-28 and September 20-23, 2010, VAOIG conducted onsite inspections. VAOIG also reviewed policies, committee minutes, and documentation. Yesterday, the results of the extensive inspection were released, along with five corrective recommendations. Helen Rhodes, Acting Director of the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System, responded with target completion dates to meet the recommendations.

"The results of the Inspector General were troubling," Mr. Stutzman continued. "I believe that the Inspector General's recommendations should be taken seriously by the Fort Wayne VA. I know that the doctors, nurses, and technicians who serve our veterans have a great sense of obligation to those who first answered duty's call. By implementing the report's recommendations, I am confident that they will continue to provide needed care. Updated facilities, such as the new VA annex and future improvements, will greatly assist in meeting the quality service our veterans deserve."

Congressman Stutzman represents the 3rd Congressional District of Indiana and serves on the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. Indiana's 3rd District contains all of DeKalb, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, Steuben, and Whitley counties, as well as parts of Allen and Elkhart counties.

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